‘I chose Puyol & Guardiola because..’

Former Barcelona boss Louis van Gaal has revealed what qualities he saw in Carles Puyol and Pep Guardiola to first make them captain.

Reports in the Spanish Press over the weekend claimed that Puyol was thinking about retiring from the game.

But his Coach at Camp Nou in the early 2000s has admitted that the Spain international was ‘ambitious and honest’, and has disclosed what he said to Guardiola when he first gave the midfielder the armband.

This is more based on characteristics, which is very important for me,” he told fifa.com.

“I choose the captain, not the players. I’m always choosing the captains of my team. I have to live with them and give them more responsibility.

“I have to admire him also because of his personality, his identity. My captains are very professional, but also very ambitious and honest. You can see these qualities in the captains I have chosen.

“Age is not important. When I moved to Barcelona, Guardiola was 27-years-old. Traditionally in Spain, the captains are the eldest players.

“I wanted to give him responsibility and transfer my philosophy. I have to click with my captains.

“I told Pep, ‘You have to be my captain.’ He said, ‘No, no.’ I told him, ‘I choose the captain and you understand the game how I understand the game.’ That’s why I made him my captain. You can see what he is now.”

Tags Guardiola Netherlands Puyol Van Gaal